Writers: Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
Running time: 86 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12A
Released in the UK: 9th February 2007
Watched on Sky+ Tuesday 23rd February 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I have been a fan of This Is Spinal Tap (1984) for many years, also co-written by Christopher Guest, and so I was intrigued to see this more recent effort. I wasn’t disappointed, although I didn’t find it as funny as Spinal Tap, the clever whit was still there and so a good time was had by all. The setting is a film set where a low budget film starring a couple of lesser known and slightly ageing actors is being produced.
Marilyn Hack and Victor Allan Miller, a pair of ageing actors are starring in the low budget production, “Home for Purim”. Also in the film are the young actors Corey Taft and Pam Campanella and the director is Jay Berman. Throw into the mix, Victor’s agent, Morley Orfkin, and the producer, Whitney Taylor Brown and that’s the main part of the ensemble. The production is going quite well until Marilyn hears a whisper that she may be up for an Oscar nomination. This gets the entire cast in a bit of a spin, especially when Victor is also mooted to be up for a nomination as well. Just to make it really crazy, we then hear that Pam is on the shortlist for a nomination too! We follow the cast as they totally transform, going on chat shows, making appearances and generally behaving like the stars they think they are. Then the guys at the top get involved, specifically the studio owner, Martin Gibb. He persuades them to change the film significantly before its release. And I’ll leave this little synopsis on the morning of the nominations, who will get a nod from the academy?
I found this a very enjoyable film to watch, the dialogue reminded me of some of the films of Woody Allen in parts. Some great performances, in particular, Catherine O'Hara as Marilyn Hack, Harry Shearer as Victor Allan Miller, John Michael Higgins as Corey Taft, Carrie Aizley as Pam Campanella and Eugene Levy as Morley Orfkin. Also a neat cameos from Christopher Guest as Jay Berman and Ricky Gervais as Martin Gibb.
Over all, a nice gentle comedy with some clever dialogue and some totally bizarre characters. Not the greatest comedy ever made, but quite enjoyable none the less. One I can recommend.
My score: 6.7/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0470765/